Authorities in New York City imposed a $15,000 fine on the organizers of a wedding held in secret on November 8 by a prominent member of the city’s ultra-Orthodox Jewish community that is believed to have been attended by some 7,000 people.
“If people are doing something dangerous, we can’t let it happen,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said Tuesday, referring to the event, held at the Yetev Lev Synagogue in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brookyn, and whose activities have been put on hold.
In a press conference, De Blasio, who did not confirm the number of people who attended the ceremony, said that “beyond the number, whether it was hundreds or thousands, it was too many and it seems that there was a very conscious effort to hide what was happening.
“A fine of 15,000 dollars is very serious, in addition an order has been imposed to cease the activities in the building. If there are any more inappropriate activities, they would be the cause for the building to be closed permanently,” added the mayor.
Last Sunday, the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, ordered an investigation into what happened and assured that if it were true it would be “a flagrant disregard for the law and a lack of respect for the people of New York.
It was about the wedding of a grandson of a Hasidic rabbi for which several videos were published in which a large number of attendees could be seen without masks.
The Health Department had banned the celebration last October because it was considered to violate the ban on mass congregation because of the pandemic.
The Orthodox community has refused to comply with restrictions imposed by COVID-19 and have taken to the streets en masse to protest the health measures, accusing the authorities of anti-Semitism.